Sunday, November 10, 2013

Add a Little Fandom to your Weekend...Meeting Ruta Sepetys!

I love Ruta Sepetys!  Like 5 stars on both of her books (Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy) for sure.  Even though I haven't read a lot of historical fiction in the last few years, she has reminded me how I used to love it.  Her books are so well-researched and I became completely invested in her characters.  She had me from page 1 in both books (pardon the sad reference to Jerry Maguire there!).

About a month ago I saw on Ruta's blog that she was going to be in Indiana.  Needless to say I was soooo excited.  Her schedule takes her all over the world but rarely to Indiana (for example, last week she was in Poland and next week she said she's going to France and Spain).  So I immediately called the library in charge of her visit and asked if I could attend (even though I live 2 hours away and was not a part of their county-wide reading initiative).  Thankfully they were super gracious and sent me tickets for my friend Lisa and me.

Hearing Ruta speak did NOT disappoint.  In fact, this was the BEST author presentation/experience I've ever had.  Most authors will speak on the surface to the audience because they aren't sure who has read their books.  But Ruta gave us all kinds of inside information about her books, research methods, and background.  I was engrossed the entire way through her presentation.  I even worked up the courage to ask her a question during the Q&A time at the end!  *I told her I was mad that she had spent 22 years in the music industry because that's 22 years of her books we totally missed out on...then I asked her to share a hint of her next book, which she totally did!

But even more exciting than hearing her speak was meeting her afterward at the signing table.  I said some cheesy things, like telling her that my heart was in her books the entire time I read them (which is soooo true!  I was so engrossed in the characters and story--but probably a little cheesy to say) and she was so gracious and appreciative that I shared with her.  But here came the most exciting part--

I had an image of my blog logo that I hoped Ruta would hold for a photo op (I think this would be a neat tradition to start with authors and sometimes I just find myself plain goofy in photos).  Here's how the conversation went (completely summarized from my memory of course, although I think it is completely ingrained in my brain now!):

Me: "So I have this blog called 'Stylish in the Stacks' where I review books and design outfits based on a character."
Ruta: "'Stylish in the Stacks?!'  I know that blog!"
Me: "No you don't."  This blog isn't that old and there's no way I would assume an author would know my blog.
Ruta: "Yes!  'Stylish in the Stacks!' I know that blog!
Me: Turning to my friend, Lisa, with my chin on the ground.  "Don't tease me, Ruta.  I'm too excited!"
Ruta: "Didn't you design an outfit for Maggie Stiefvater?"
Me: My heart falling.  "No, that wasn't me.  You must be thinking of someone else."
Ruta: "No I must be confused but I know your blog!  I was just talking with some authors about it the other day and we were saying that we want outfits designed off our books!"
Me: "Well I designed an outfit based on Dora from Out of the Easy."  I show her the outfit.
Ruta: "Oh my gosh!"  Standing up and exclaiming to the crowd.  "She has a blog called 'Stylish in the Stacks' and she designed an outfit for Dora!"
Me: I've never had a smile so wide or my heart beat so fast.  Well, I brought a logo from my blog and was hoping you'd take a photo with it.
Ruta: "Of course!  But YOU have to be in the picture too!  And I want one with my camera too!"  Digs in purse for her camera--you guys, she dug in her purse so she could take a photo with me!!!!

So we took a photo together:

And I tweeted soon thereafter about meeting Ruta and what a great night it was.  And when I got up at 2 a.m. to feed my baby and checked my computer, look what I found:

Highlight of the evening? Meeting Thank you for driving to Kokomo!

You guys?!  She said the highlight of her evening was meeting me!!!!

What an awesome moment for me!  Getting to meet my author hero and speak with her--and I'm just going to assume that she really HAS seen my blog!

So who do you love?!  Tweet them!  Go to one of their events!  That's the great thing about social media today--we can connect with people in ways we couldn't in the past.


  1. :) Obviously you know I am a fan of social media stalking. Worked for me. ha! Such a fun post.

  2. I think I fixed the photo...not sure what happened originally.